Search Results for Category: Editors Choice

SENIORS ALWAYS ENJOY CALIFORNIA


Seniors Find Flowers Galore in Borrego Springs

images “Super Bloom” draws crowds this time of year in California and no better place to see them than Borrego Springs. Many of this years blooms have been lying dormant for years, but today a spectacular display is in view for senior visitors to the area.

It is estimated that over 150,00 folks will travel to this little town that lies 85 miles northeast of San Diego to enjoy the wide array of beautiful flowers. The natural show at Anza-Borrego is expected to roll along through May, with different species blooming at different elevations and in different areas. Folks are making a “beeline” to  what The Washington Post calls “Flowergeddon.”

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‘Super Bloom’ is what they call a mass amount of desert plants that come to life with blazing orange poppies in particular filling up memory chips in cameras. The wet winter is the principal reason for the display and it is said that this happens only once every ten years.

Seniors Awed By Thousands Of Acres Of Flowers

Much of what senior visitors will see takes place in Anza Borrego State Park that has 640,000 acres for you to take in. The name of Anza-Borrego State Park is derived from a combination of Juan Baptista de Anza and “borrego” which is Spanish for little lamb, in honor of the local herds of bighorn sheep.

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While there are hundreds of species, you will note the spiny ocotillo cactus, my wife’s favorite, with flaming tall red blooms that the hummingbirds enjoy. The town is the only California town that is completely surrounded by a state park.

The locals in Borrego Springs call the visitors “flower peepers.” This Master Gardener would be one of the more enthusiastic “flower peepers” there. I had a garden back in Illinois the size of a football field and I grew many flowers.

Yellow, orange, purple and magenta blooms abound in every direction. Visitors come from as far away as China and Japan to enjoy the scenery, with the Bigelow Monkey flower an 8 inch favorite of Asian tourists.

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 Seniors Find Town Surrounded By Beautiful State Park

In Borrego Springs the locals (population around 3,500) are completely surrounded by nature, set in the midst of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  Senior visitors can hike a desert canyon or just relax by the pool, play some golf or watch the roadrunners, and always amaze yourself with the dark night sky.

There is no hustle-bustle in Borrego Springs, a small town with a homey feel. This stop is a wonderful opportunity for seniors and others to enjoy Borrego Springs. A local landmark is the traffic roundabout between the airport and downtown, known as Christmas Circle.

Seniors, enjoy Borrego Springs and the beauty that surrounds it this time of year. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Settle Into Helsinki, Finland

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 Senior friends, pour yourself a cup of coffee ad let’s head up north to Helsinki, Finland’s capital. You will find this popular tourist destination sitting on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland.

Its central avenue, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions like the National Museum, that traces Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present. Also on Mannerheimintie are the imposing Parliament House and Kiasma, a contemporary art museum. Ornate red-brick Uspenski Cathedral overlooks a harbor. The population runs right at 630,000.

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 Helsinki is sure to leave a lasting impression on its senior guests. This charming city boasts an array of attractions, historical sites and grand structures that sit next to the city’s other half, the ocean itself which stretches along the Gulf of Finland, the easternmost projection of the Baltic Sea.

Seniors Enjoy This International Metropolis

The “Daughter of the Baltic” has been the Finnish capital since 1812, when it was rebuilt by the tsars of Russia along the lines of a miniature St. Petersburg, a role it has played in many Cold War movies.

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Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel. The best time for seniors to visit Helsinki is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine. The city is officially bilingual, with an 86% Finnish-speaking majority and a visible 6% Swedish-speaking minority.

Helsinki is among the world’s northernmost capitals and the lengthy winter, from November all the way up to March, is dark and freezing. You can find several quality tours of the city both on foot and by water.

Seniors Find Beautiful Seaside City

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Helsinki is a vibrant seaside city of 300 beautiful islands, great green parks and many historic buildings. Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden as a trading post.

The Ateneum is Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The Cathedral, by Carl Ludvig Engel, rising on the northern side of the Senate Square is the stage of national and academic festive services and one of the most popular tourist sights.

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Lonely Planet notes that Helsinki is a “quirky adventure”, the capital of a country with watery geography,  that “entwines so spectacularly with the Baltic’s bays, inlets and islands”.  TripAdvisor suggests seniors check out the Fortress of Suomenlinna, the Rock Church, and the Seurassari Island and Open-Air Museum. 

While Helsinki can seem a younger sibling to the Scandinavian capitals, it’s the one that went to art school, scorns pop music and works in a cutting-edge studio. Despite being a capital and a popular tourist destination, Helsinki is considered to be a safe city.

So visit with your  travel agent and make plans to visit this exciting city way up north. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Seek Sun And Fun In Trinidad and Tobago

imagesSeniors, get your coffee, we’re headed for the nation of  Trinidad and Tobago, off Venezuela’s coast in the southern Caribbean.

With a Creole culture incorporating African, European, East Indian and Chinese traditions, it’s known for its distinct cuisine, calypso and soca music, and boisterous Carnival celebration.

Home to diverse flora and fauna, including some 400 bird species, the red Chaconia is the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago and thus the red color of their flag. Trinidad & Tobago’s population is around 1,225,225.

 Seniors are invited to experience “the True Caribbean” in Trinidad and Tobago.

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 Seniors Find Wealthy Country

Trinidad and Tobago is the third richest country by GDP per capita in the Americas after the United States and Canada. Furthermore, it is recognized as a high income economy by the World Bank.

Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the country’s economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country’s wealth is attributed to its large reserves and exploitation of oil and natural gas. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas.

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Trinidad and Tobago have distinct personalities. Trinidad is the larger of the two, the country’s industrial center and is the location of most of the country’s cities and activity. Tobago is known for tourism, its main industry, and is a popular tourist destination.

 Seniors Find A Place Of Beauty

Both islands have their  share of natural beauty. TripAdvisor suggests that senior travelers not miss the Nylon Pool, an in-sea shallow white ground coral pool, accessible by boat. Its name is derived from its resemblance to a swimming pool. Next is Pigeon Point Beach, often considered Tobago’s most beautiful beach.

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Arawak and Carib Indians prospered on the island the Amerindians called Ieri, land of the Humming Bird, until Columbus spotted the island he named for the Holy Trinity.

LonelyPlanet says, “Trinidad and Tobago are an exercise in beautiful contradiction. In Trinidad, pristine mangrove swamps and rain forested hills sit side by side with smoke-belching oil refineries and ugly industrial estates.

Tobago has everything you’d expect from a Caribbean island, with palm trees and white sand aplenty, yet relatively unchanged by the tourist industry. This twin-island republic offers unparalleled bird-watching, first-class diving, drumming and dancing, luxuriant rain forests prime for hiking, waterfall swimming and cycling, and electric nightlife, with the fabulous Carnival easily the biggest and best of the region’s annual blowouts.”

Seniors, set your sail for Trinidad and Tobago and enjoy your visit.  -jeb

Filed under : Caribbean, Editors Choice

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Discover Devon, England

map_of_devonDevon, a county also referred to as Devonshire, in south west England, encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks. Senior travelers find themselves on the English Riviera, a series of picturesque, south-coast harbor towns including Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.

In case you were wondering, like me, the name Devon derives from the name of the Britons who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest. I also discovered that Devon may mean “defender” in reference to the Celtic inhabitants who fought off Anglo Saxon invaders during the dark ages.

Senior visitors will discover  the entire Devon area to be highly scenic with colorful fields, azure coasts, tall cliffs and historic buildings. Plymouth is the largest city in Devon with a population of 255,000.

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 This Senior Enjoys Clotted Cream

Devon’s area is 2,590 square miles and its population is just over one million. Despite its small Jewish population, Devon is known to contain two of Britain’s oldest synagogues.

The county has given its name to a number of culinary specialities. The Devonshire cream tea, involving scones, jam and clotted cream, is thought to have originated in Devon. My wife fell in love with clotted cream in Bath last year.

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I write a lot of these travel blogs using TripAdvisor as a reference. This time I think they set a record, 1,171 things to see and do in Devon County. That’ll keep you busy for a long, long time.

The Jurassic Coast is famous for its many ammonite fossils. Senior fossil-lovers, clotted cream enthusiasts, scenic view proponents…set your sails for Devon.

Seniors Seek Out Rural Experience

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“Devon is best known for cream teas and surf beaches, but a raft of openings are elevating the county’s image with rarefied takes on the rural experience. The elegant Lympstone Manor has been reimagined by eminent chef Michael Caines, who will reopen it in 2017 as a 21-room hotel and restaurant.

Design lovers can soon overnight at the Secular Retreat, a strikingly minimal property inspired by ecclesiastical architecture and designed by Peter Zumthor. And on the coast, the Art Deco Burgh Island Hotel has another groundbreaking design in the works: a suite that bridges the vertiginous gap between two rocky outcrops.” —Emily Mathieson

Senior travelers, enjoy all  that the county of Devon has to offer. Hope to see you there. -jeb

 

SENIORS VISIT WYOMING


Seniors Make A Visit to Pinedale

Document Pinedale is an important hunting outfitting town, an authentic western town and a gateway to the Wind River Mountains. This senior loves visiting those smaller towns and Pinedale fits right in.

In 1904, John F. Patterson proposed establishing a town in the Green River Valley along Pine Creek in western Wyoming, in what then was still part of Fremont County. Pinedale was named after a post office on a ranch of Charles Peterson and Robert Graham. The boundary line set by the ranchers became Pine Street and Patterson earned recognition as the founder of Pinedale.

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En route to Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone is Pinedale, Wyoming on Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway. It’s a must for adventurous travelers who want to experience the vast expanses of three mountain ranges.

The Wind River Mountains boast Wyoming’s highest summit, Gannett Peak. The scenic drive opens the door to a destination rich in historic pioneer trails and cultural attractions.

Seniors Enjoy the Wildlife

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 Seniors Visitors can enjoy the Museum of the Mountain Man, Green River Rendezvous Days, White Pine Ski Area, and the Town Park System along the Pine Creek Corridor in the middle of town.

Pinedale and the surrounding area are home to a large population of wildlife including both grizzly and black bear, moose, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, whitetail deer, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Over seven species of trout can be found in the area lakes.

Senior visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, boating, four-wheeling, hunting, skiing/snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice fishing. You might enjoy a Google Maps tour of Pinedale.

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 Pinedale’s Great Outdoors Unequaled

Pinedale is also near several large natural gas fields, including the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field. When the energy boom hit this small town in 2007, the town benefited while experiencing the challenges: increased traffic, population, and demands on the town’s resources.

During the late 1800s, tourists came to enjoy horse pack trips, fishing and hunting in the beautiful nearby mountains. Great herds of Hereford and Black Angus cattle roamed on area ranches in the Green River Valley, some of which were established before the town itself. Ranchers and cowboys, along with their families, were among the early settlers of the region.

Fall, Green River Lakes

Pinedale’s great outdoors are unequaled. Senior visitors will experience the vast expanses of the towering Wind River Range, the beauty of the region’s 1,300 lakes, forests, rivers, wilderness, and wildlife. Pinedale is situated on the edge of the Bridger Wilderness, a vast recreational playground, 3.4 million acres, that’s only minutes from town.

Plan a drive to Pinedale and enjoy every minute. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Are Attracted To France’s Dordogne Valley

86a26012f8b25c93fb9c739b04e0b1bbThe Dordogne Valley, a department in southwestern France, that senior travelers will find between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees, is named after the great Dordogne river that runs through it. My travel hero Rick Steves takes on an exciting visit to the Dordogne River Valley.

There is so much for senior visitors to take in, like the Cabanas de Breuil, La Roque-Gageac, a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, canoeing on the Dordogne River, the famous prehistoric caves of Lascaux, the Château de Beynac and the capital city Périgueux.

The beautiful countryside lies in all directions and attracts visitors from all over the world. Foie gras is a luxury food product of this area, made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. I’d make a point to spend some quality time in Sarlat that is undoubtedly one of the most attractive and visited medieval cities in France.

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Seniors Enjoy Medieval Jewel, “Sarlat”

The capital of the Black Périgord truffle, on the edge of the Quercy causses (limestone plateaus), Sarlat is a major tourist site, renowned for its large historical center containing countless buildings dating mainly from the medieval and early Renaissance period, 13th to 16th century. Over a million visitors discover or rediscover this medieval jewel every year.

I have lost count of the number of times I have visited France, somewhere  over three dozen, and this region has always fascinated me. There are more than 1,500 castles in Dordogne, making it “The Other Château Country”, meaning all those along the Loire Valley.

Forty eight parks and gardens allure gardeners like me to the area and some “grands étangs” (ponds) are teeming with birds and other wildlife. The Grotte at Lascaux II is an exquisite 39m-long replica museum of the renowned prehistoric cave paintings of animals, discovered in 1940. Lascaux is the most famous cave in the world.

Take Note Senior Bikers and Hikers

Perigueux_Cathedrale_Saint_FrontThe Valley of the Dordogne developed because of the importance of the river as a transport route, and trade originally developed around the wood and leather industries.

The landscape consists of steep wooded hills climbing up both sides of the river valley, with small picturesque villages both in the valley itself, like Brivezac and Saulières and also nestling deep in the ‘side valleys’ for example, Neuville and Albussac.

The countryside is largely unspoiled with traditional houses and smallholdings to admire as you explore. It is a great place for senior bikers and hikers. The Dordogne is without doubt the most diverse region in France, and perhaps even all of Europe.

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Beautiful medieval towns and villages, castles and forts are perched high above both the Dordogne and Vézère River. The Prehistoric Vézère Valley offering caves and cave art, help to make this area a popular destination. 

Seniors, head your rental car to southwest France and the Dordogne Valley. Enjoy, do some research and planning and it will pay off big dividends.  -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


 

Senior Hikers Challenged In Pennine Way, England

1280px-Pennine_Way_Sign_AndhI recently read information on the seven epic walking trails in the world. Senior hikers, where you are headed with your best pair of hiking boots, is called Pennine Way.  So grab your coffee, your boots and let’s be on our way.

Often called the most physically challenging trek in the United Kingdom, the 268-mile Pennine Way walking trail follows the mountainous backbone of England through the moors of Bronte Country, over limestone cliffs and glacial valleys, past Hadrian’s Wall and across the wildest stretch of land in the nation before concluding at the Scottish border.

The traditional starting point of the trail is The Old Nags Head, Edale in the beautiful Peak District. This charming 16th-century property features its own, well-known pub.

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I’d want to check in here prior to hiking the trail as the cozy pub is listed as one of England’s top 100. With a log fire, it also offers a selection of local beers, ciders, lagers and its own ale, The Nag’s 1577. Let’s meet there and take the trail together, okay?

Seniors Check Out High Cup Nick

It takes about 18 days to complete, but many walkers prefer to break it up into smaller sections. Some forgo the southern and northern extremities altogether and focus on the more accessible middle section of the trail, the highlight of which is a breathtaking glacial valley called High Cup Nick.

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Bronte Country is an area which straddles the West Yorkshire and East Lancashire Pennines in the North of England. A windswept land of heather and wild moors, it is hardly surprising that this region became the inspiration for the classic works of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

Seniors Find Hadrian’s Wall

Seniors, wouldn’t it be neat to hike across the famed Hadrian’s Wall. Know anything about that Wall? Well, Hadrian’s Wall, also called the Roman Wall, Picts’ Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in 122 AD in the reign of the emperor Hadrian.

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If you would prefer a shorter trail, walk 84 miles from coast to coast following the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall, past Roman settlements and forts. There’s history every step of the way, and cosy pubs, bustling market towns and great views too.

Small wonder then, that this landscape fueled the imagination of the Bronte sisters in writing their classic novels – including “Wuthering Heights”, which was reputedly inspired by the isolated moorland farmstead of Top Withens and “Jane Eyre”.

Seniors, enjoy your visit to the area and walk part if not all the Pennine Way. You will certainly enjoy the legendary landscape. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Enjoy Scenic Umbria

umbria_mapUmbria, an Italian region bordering Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche, is often called the country’s green heart, and senior travelers will know it for its medieval hill towns, dense forests and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines.

Friends, get your coffee and let’s enjoy a trip to Italy today…Umbria, to be precise!

Hilltop Perugia, the regional capital, is the site of medieval Palazzo dei Priori, housing the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria. Perugia’s wide, pedestrianized Corso Vannucci is the focus of city life. The city is located about 164 kilometers north of Rome, and 148 km southeast of Florence.

Umbria is the only Italian region which is both landlocked and has no common border with other countries. It is crossed by the River Tiber.

 Seniors Adore The Green Heart Of Italy

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The phrase, il cuor verde d’Italia, the green heart of Italy, is taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci and, except for August and September, is famously green.

When senior visitors think of Umbria they think of the Italian word ombra. Shadow. One of Italy’s smallest regions, Umbria lies in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbor, Tuscany.

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In Italy, Umbria is second only to Tuscany in terms of historical hills towns and beautiful countryside. Along with Tuscany and Sicily, Umbria has many  cypress forests in addition to pine and chestnut.

The many Umbrian hills and mountains cast long dark shadows over river valleys which are already darkened by lush chestnut groves and elm forests. Senior travelers  will not run out of scenic views in Umbria for they are in every direction as far at the eye can see.

 Seniors Find Historic Hill Towns and Amazing Countryside

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To Henry James, Umbria was “the most beautiful garden in all the world.” St. Benedict and St. Francis were born and raised in Umbria, then went on to become two of the most powerful influences on Western spirituality.

Perugino and Raphael started their famous schools in Umbria, and still today the serene landscapes and picturesque hill towns look almost as they do in canvases painted four hundred years ago.

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Umbria is easy to reach from the big tourism hubs of central Italy and yet relatively uncrowded even at the height of the tourism season. I think visiting seniors will like that fact.

So, have a visit with your travel agent and plan to spend some quality time in Umbria. It is said that the hospitality is as legendary as the landscape, and indeed it is. Enjoy your vacation in Umbria. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY BAINBRIDGE, GEORGIA


Seniors Find ‘Oak City’

sign-2-1170x500Bainbridge, whose population is 13,000, senior travelers will find in southwest Georgia about 40 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida. Bainbridge is known as ‘Oak City,’  thanks to all the many huge oak trees in town. 

Native Americans occupied the area for centuries, and a settlement called Pucknawhitla stood on the site of present-day Bainbridge in 1765, when Europeans arrived.

The town was named after U.S. Navy Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”, and was incorporated on December 22, 1829. In 1824, Bainbridge was designated seat of the newly formed Decatur County.

The city is home to Bainbridge College, Lake Seminole and Seminole State Park. While the 37,500-acre lake attracts sport fishing, deer and duck hunting, the park welcomes senior visitors to meet a population of gopher tortoises, the only native tortoise in Georgia.

Seniors Enjoy Bainbridge’s Art And Culture

Bainbridge has its share of art and culture including River Town Days, held each year the second weekend of March. The Swine Time Festival and Decatur County Fall Festival and Fair are two other annual events.

Another popular annual event, The Oak City Cemetery Tour, features Bainbridge’s rich history and the truth, tales, and folklore of some of its most famous former residents.

Seniors won’t want to miss the famed Decatur County Courthouse, constructed in 1902, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an awesome site. The city sits on the banks of the Flint River that flows into Lake Seminole that is well stocked with prize-winning bass.

Seniors Love Bainbridge’s Hospitality

Bainbridge is surrounded by the serenity of nature, filled with the excitement of history and home to genuine southern hospitality. The folks here are proud of their small town and proud that they remain a small town. This one site does it all link features a listing of the on-going events, where to enjoy some great southern cuisine and what to see.

The city is a seaport linked to the Gulf of Mexico via Florida’s Apalachicola River, officially known as Port Bainbridge. Willis Park, the Bainbridge town square, hosts events on a regular basis and senior visitors are invited to take a leisurely stroll in the park or sit under the gazebo and people watch.

I know that my wife and I would enjoy The Heritage Driving Tour of Bainbridge that features over 40 historic homes and churches, many of which have been restored to their original glory. A close second would be a visit to the Decatur County Historical Society on Water Street.

Seniors, plan on a stop at one of the most historic and charming cities in the south, when you are in Georgia. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice

SENIORS TRAVEL TO MONTANA


Seniors Enjoy Colorful Livingston

homesign Senior travelers will find Livingston in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park with a population that runs just over 7,000.

Livingston sits on the doorstep to Yellowstone National Park, the country’s first national park. With fun events happening year round, every season is a good season to be in and around Livingston.

Toss in your fly rod as Livingston sits on the banks of the mighty Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone is the longest free flowing river in the United States and is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world.

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 Seniors Find Gateway To Yellowstone

The founding of the small historical railroad and ranching town of Livingston, Montana is a direct result of the Northern Pacific Railroad. This site became a centralized point in the Rockies and the NPR’s location for railroad shops to service NPR steam trains before their ascent over the Bozeman Pass, the highest point on the line.

In time, Livingston became the first gateway town to Yellowstone National Park. Downstream (the Yellowstone River), approximately 3 miles from present day Livingston, was where an old fisherman named Amos Benson built a log cabin in 1872. This is where a ferry, a trading post and a small community called Benson’s Landing was located.

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Hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities abound in the area making Livingston the perfect vacation spot. Known as a sportsman’s paradise, many experienced guides and outfitters can help senior visitors have the hunting or fishing experience of a lifetime.

 Seniors Visit The Grand Old Depot

The Northern Pacific Railroad Depot in downtown Livingston has always been the center of the community. Built by the railroad in 1902, it served as a stopping point for tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park.

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Now the grand old depot has taken on a new life as a museum and community cultural center, the Gateway Museum, housing one of the most impressive collections of local and state historical artifacts, documents and memorabilia in Montana.

Whether you seek the rugged outdoors or culture within a variety of art galleries and live theatre, comfort cuisine to fine dining, you will find it in Livingston. Art Walks,  part gallery tour and part social gathering, are fun events held every fourth Friday in the summer. An eclectic array of locals, out-of-towners and random art enthusiasts arrive en masse to check out what’s exhibited on the walls.

If jogging along at 5,600 feet doesn’t take your breath away, the views in Mission Creek Canyon will. Watch out for antelope in the middle of the highway as you come over a hill. I had to slam on the brakes to preserve one young pronghorn beauty. That’s Montana!

Seniors, enjoy not only the scenic wonder of this state, but the pleasant folks who live in Livingston. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice

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